Market: Fort Wayne, Ind.

Feb 11, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Jill Brown, VP and director of media for the Asher Agency, said multiple partnerships in which two to three advertisers collaborate on a promotion are the “biggest” deals stations in Fort Wayne are doing now.
One successful promotion is ABC affiliate WPTA-TV’s “Candles for Courage,” sponsored by Subway. Viewers can make a donation at Subway stores for the Embassy Foundation, which supports the arts in Fort Wayne. In return, candles are lit in the viewer’s name at the Embassy Theater, a venue where live shows and concerts are held.
“We’re working very, very hard to stretch out clients’ dollars, because spending over most categories is down, so advertising budgets are down,” Ms. Brown said. “So we’re expected to hit our goals but have smaller budgets to do it [with], so we need to be more creative in how we maintain our share of voice. You get the warm community feeling out of these types of promotions, and it’s very positive.”
WPTA General Manager Jerry Giesler said anything with education or family is popular now with advertisers. “It’s the same reason people aren’t traveling as much. They’re renting movies; they’re staying home more. There is more of a focus on family and bread and butter issues.”
According to BIA Financial Network, Fort Wayne TV revenues were $37.5 million in 2001 and are expected to be about $38.6 million in 2002. Top ad categories are auto, restaurants, retail and fast food.
CBS affiliate WANE-TV used the “Survivor” franchise to create successful promotions, such as one in which a trip for two to Australia was given away last year after the Australian Outback edition ended. After “Survivor: Africa” wrapped up, WANE gave away a trip for two to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Fla.
“I think the advertisers in this tough economy have less dollars to spend, and they’re looking for ways to get a little bit more bang for their buck,” said WANE-TV General Sales Manager Alan Riebe. “They not only get the advertiser commitment, but they get their logo shown, and they get mentioned every time the contest is promoted.”